Life Can be like a Bitter Sweet Symphony

Bitter Sweet Symphony

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I love 1990s and would go back in time to that decade if I could. I know most people would say, “No, no. I wouldn’t go back in time. What if I wouldn’t learn the lessons I’ve learned? What if my life would change drastically?” My response to that is, “If I could learn then what I know now my life would flow smoother and be easier.”

One of my favorite bands from the 1990s was and is The Verve. Their hit Bitter Sweet Symphony sums up how life in the 21st century can be. It can be like a “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

I’m like many people who ‘woke up’ in the 21st century and understand that my life is my responsibility. As an adult, I have the power to change what I don’t like about my life. I’m no longer a child. I don’t have to listen to former teachers, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, bosses, co-workers, etc. However, some of us still get ‘sucked into’ family drama that rips us out of the vortex. It’s a vicious cycle that can be stopped with focus, determination, and time.

Let’s take a look at lyrics from The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
But I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no(fading away)

Well I never pray
But tonight I’m on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now

I think this song can be and is the anthem for most people today, me included. Working in a career you don’t like can suck the life out of you. I’ve been there and done that. There’s absolutely no joy. You become a worker bee. You can’t wait until Friday and dread Sunday. The only reason you stay is for the money. Today, I’m trying the entrepreneurial route and it’s not paying off like I thought or expected it to be. Then again, maybe I need to be patient. This isn’t my strong suit, but I’m open to becoming more patient.

Perhaps your relationships are in turmoil. I’ve worked and continue to work on myself! I must have every self-help book that was ever written. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But, I have a lot of books and podcasts. What isn’t working? I think it’s me. I think I’m like a lot of people — I get in my own way. I know and understand the message each author conveys but there’s a part of me that’s still holding on. Why? It’s probably fear. Fear that I’ll be alone, fear that success will change me, fear that success will disconnect me from my mom and sister, fear that my work will be in vain, and just plain old fear. Isn’t it amazing how a four-letter word can have power over you if you allow it?

What’s the cure to the Bitter Sweet Symphony known as life? Feel the fear and do it anyway. Get clear about what you want. What are your hopes and dreams? Throw caution to the wind and take a risk. Don’t look back or listen to the naysayers who try to talk you out of your dreams. What’s the worst that could happen? You become successful, you attract investors to your business or film project, you attract a lover that’s meant for you, and you attract the life you always wanted and wished you had. That’s not too shabby.


  • The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (
  • Bitter and Sweet Food for Thought (
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Guilt Can Crush Your Body, Mind and Soul


Image by What What via Flickr

I attended Catholic School from Kindergarten through the eighth grade and it wasn’t all that great. Needless to say, like most former Catholic School kids, I’m no longer a practicing Catholic. The amount of guilt put upon us was extraordinary. Of course, it didn’t wreak havoc on my life until I reached adulthood. I feel guilty if I eat my favorite foods. I feel guilty if I don’t wallow with family members who can’t take responsibility for their lives. I feel guilty for not wallowing with people who get invested in world events. I feel guilty for having more of a connection to my two cats than I do certain people. I feel guilty for wanting to look and feel good. I feel guilty if I don’t feel the pain’ of others. I feel guilty for wanting a better life than my parents and grandparents. I feel guilty for wanting to live a footloose and fancy free lifestyle that’s suits me but others may frown upon. I feel guilty for being on a spiritual path that may not resonate with others, especially family members. I feel guilty for not wanting to get involved in the lives of family members. My philosophy is, “It’s your life do what you want.” I feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with certain people because their energy and constant complaining grates my nerves. I feel guilty for not wanting to live in the Midwest near my family. I feel guilty for wanting to be surrounded by people who I relate to — people who are kindred spirits (not necessarily family). Guilty, guilty, guilty races through my mind; I picture a judge pounding his gavel and sentencing me to a life of guilt!

I believe going to Catholic School coupled with my dysfunctional upbringing really did a number on me. First, growing up within an alcoholic family wasn’t fun. My father’s parents did a number on him, and he ended up passing certain beliefs and thoughts onto to me and my sister. Now, I have to undo all the bullshit that was spoken over me. For example, my father was held responsible for the actions of his brothers. Of course, he passed this illogical thinking onto my sister who felt major responsibility for me. If I did something wrong, she got in trouble for it. This never made sense to me. A few years before my father died, he told me I would be responsible for the family. What are we, the Corleone family? We’re not in the mafia! Second, I never felt connected to my family. That’s just the way it is. I always believed that I was adopted or dropped from the heavens into my family. Third, I’m highly independent. I like to do my own thing, on my own terms. I prefer to come and go as I please. I prefer to pay my own bills. I also cherish my space and enjoy being quiet, especially in the morning. Rules are meant to be examined and perhaps rewritten. Sometimes they don’t serve the greater good.

I don’t agree with wallowing in self-pity and playing the “Poor Me” song over and over again. All of us make choices in our lives. As an adult, I know I can be, do, and have anything in life. However, that pesky 5-letter word (guilt) is still wreaking havoc on my life.

How to let go of guilt

1. Speak your truth. This may be uncomfortable at first, but once you tell people what you think of them (gently) and start saying “No” and mean it, you’ll feel better.

2. Stay present. The past is over with, and the future hasn’t been written yet. Your future will be created based on your feelings and thoughts in the present. To stay in the present, say out loud what you see in front of you. Hearing your voice and words will bring you back to the present.

3. Stop the blame game. Your parents and others did the best they could. Learn from their mistakes. Be grateful for the contrast because it will help you figure out what you want.

4. Notice your thoughts and feelings. Don’t stuff your feelings or brush them off. Sit with them for a while. You’ll be able to move forward once you process them.

5. Let go of judgment. This can be tough. Judging another means you judge yourself.

6. Be of service. Volunteer at your favorite charity or begin your own. Give back and help others but makes sure you’re doing it because you want to not because you want to get something in return.

7. Keep your word. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at 5 pm, be on time. If you’ll be late, make a phone call or send a text message.

8. Listen to your intuition. This can be tricky you have constant mental chatter in your head. Get quiet and listen to the whispers on the wind; listen to your body and how you feel. Trust your instinct.

9. Forgive. Forgive yourself and others because it will set you free. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean, “What you did to me was all right and we’re totally cool.” It simply releases you from the person or situation. You’ll like a burden has been lifted off of you.

I watched Oprah’s last show and she said the following, “What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree, every human being? Energy. And you’re responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. Don’t wait for somebody else to save you, to complete you, to fix you.” I would add, “You are responsible for your own happiness.” I wish my family would read this. I’m not responsible for them.

I know I have the power to release me from the Guilt Prison but it’s a push pull. I feel bad that I have no desire to communicate with certain family members, but I can’t help how I feel. I visualize them with the sun above their heads and gold coins falling around because this symbolizes happiness and prosperity to me. I ask God and the angels to help them. I can’t force them to change; it’s not my job. I send them lots of love, but I won’t subject myself to their shenanigans. My connection with God, source energy, universal intelligence, etc. and feeling good is priority number one!


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7 Ways Harry Potter’s Charm ‘Expecto Patronum’ Can Protect You

We can learn a lot from Harry Potter who’ll be wrapping up the multi-billion dollar movie franchise in 2011. In case you didn’t know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I will be in theaters on November 19, 2010 — Part II will be in theaters in 2011.

One of the charms Harry and the other students learn at Hogwarts is ‘Expecto Patronum’ which produces a Patronus. For those of you unfamiliar with the magical world of Harry Potter, a Patronus is a protector, a positive force that takes the shape of an animal. You must think of a very happy, powerful memory for your Patronus to protect you from a Dementor or a human who’s acting like a Dementor. You must focus and allow your memory to fill you up. By the way, Harry Potter’s Patronus is a powerful Stag!

Believe it or not, ‘Expecto Patronum’ can protect you in your everyday life. All of us have family members, co-workers, bosses, spouses, and other people that act like Dementors. They can ‘suck the life out of you’ in less than 2.5 seconds! Instead of getting angry or irritated, think of your favorite, most powerful memory and say ‘Expecto Patronum’ and watch as your Patronus creates a barrier between you and them. You’ll be protected and feel much better.

7 ways ‘Expecto Patronum’ can protect you

  • Protect you from negative energy at work
  • Protect your from negative energy when you go shopping
  • Protect you from negative people in your home
  • Protect you from relatives during the holidays who’ll ask you “Why are you still single?” or “What do you mean you don’t plan on having children?”
  • Protect you from the ‘real life’ Dementors in your life
  • Protect you from negative energy when you’re driving
  • Protect you from negative energy whenever you communicate with anyone via phone or email

Some people may have a difficult time using the ‘Expecto Patronum’ charm on loved ones but it may necessary to use it from time-to-time. Your well-being is important, and you won’t be able to help others if your energy is sapped all of the time. Do what you can to take care of yourself because there’s only one of you!

Use the ‘Expecto Patronum’ charm with care and if that doesn’t work, try the ‘Stupefy’ spell which “knocks out” your opponent. They probably can use a good nap and will feel refreshed when they wake up. Hopefully, they won’t remember you ‘Stupefied’ them. Then again, you can always use the ‘Obliviate’ charm to erase their memory of it!


What would your Patronus be? Share.

Is an Arranged Marriage the Key to a Successful Marriage?

In India arranged marriages are still the norm. Interestingly enough, the divorce rate is 3% to 7%. Unlike the United States of America which has a divorce rate of 50%. That’s a big difference.

The news show 20/20 did a story on “The Science of Seduction: Why Him?, Why Her?” Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher has researched this subject for numerous years. She conducted research with the help of her colleagues Arthur Aron and Lucy Brown.

Lovers were put into an MRI machine. Activity in the ventral tegmental part of the brain showed up when the lovers saw pictures of their partners. This was a revelation for Fisher. According to Fisher, “love is not an emotion but a mating device.” The ventral tegmental produces dopamine (stimulant) and sends it to the brain’s reward centers. These are centers for wanting, craving, motivation, focused attention and ecstasy.

Does this mean that sappy love songs and movies got it all wrong? According to the study conducted by Fisher, people fall into four categories: explorer, builder, negotiator, and director. People who were “matched” with their so-called “perfect mate did not have a long lasting relationship. One couple stayed together to find dating success; this was after the guy found another girl. There is no guarantee that you’ll fall in love even if you use a match maker.

The flip side to this study is arranged marriages which are stilled practiced in Indian cultures today. Ads are placed daily in many Indian newspapers by families who are looking for a husband for their daughter and a wife for their son.

One couple showcased in the 20/20 special married via an arranged marriage. The man was tired the “American” dating scene and contacted his family in New Dehli, India to find him a wife. Success! They found him one and they had a three day celebration. Does the Indian culture know something that we don’t?

A few things have changed with regards to arranged marriages: the rigid caste system is more relaxed and Indians may now marry outside of their own language and province. Families in India meet and get to know each other. They talk about their son or daughter’s past. Everything is revealed from habits to former addictions to their level of employment. Yes, it’s a background check!

India’s divorce rate is lower than the United States of America. Perhaps it’s the “getting to the point” of what they are looking for in a mate. There is none of this silly notion of a “knight in shining armor” coming to rescue them. So many women have been brought up with this concept throughout the years. Men and women know exactly what they are getting — no information is withheld from either party. No stone is left unturned!

Matrimonial classifieds can be found throughout India. Thanks to the internet, many of these agencies are online. With one click of the mouse, a husband or wife can be found. Odds are this is a marriage that will last.

There is something to be said of arranged marriages, honesty. Isn’t this a new idea? Before a bride and groom marry, all their cards are on the table. There’s no hiding of anything. After all, it would bring shame onto the family.

Americans in particular can learn from the Indian culture. It’s not a bad idea to be open and honest of what you are looking for in a relationship. Instead of stringing someone along, cut to the chase and tell what you’re looking for. People would save a lot of time, money, and tears.

The next time someone wants to fix you up on a date. Ask some questions about the man or woman. In fact, write down exactly what you’re looking for in a mate. Let family and friends know what you’re looking for. This will save you time and frustration in the long run. Not to mention hurt feelings.